Saturday 31 December 2016

What I Got For Christmas: 2016 Edition

I think, for those who celebrate it, Christmas is more or less the same thing: getting together with your family members, eating loads of delicious food, having more fun with everyone than you'd have at any other point in the year, and, at some point, exchanging thoughtful gifts.

Last year I was emanating that Grinch attitude all Christmas season, but this year I really got into the spirit. I found gifts for my family members that I knew they would appreciate, I counted down the days until I could wear a Christmas t-shirt at work, and I eagerly looked forward to piling up my plate with my nanna's roast potatoes and timpana.

Christmas Haul 2016 - featuring my brother's legs
Sorry, Mum, but Nanna's timpana really is better than yours. Don't worry, though, because yours is still better than mine.

My family are typically very good at gifting presents, whatever the occasion, and this year was no different. Have a look at what I received, and let me know what you received as well!

From my brothers


My brothers know how to buy me gifts. It's impossible for them to go wrong with buying me DVDs because they know that it'll be a hit so long as there's at least one actor or actress in it that I like. You'll see Sisters here, starring Amy Poehler and Tina Fey -- I was too busy when it came out to watch it in cinema, so I'm happy to have it on DVD. The same goes for Bridget Jones's Baby -- I was waiting to see it with my best friend, but by the time she was available, it was too late. I love Bridget Jones, and anything with Colin Firth will have me going "YAS!" so it was an easy pick.

You may have noticed an adorable Pikachu chilling nearby. It's actually a portable charger designed to give your phone an additional three hours of battery power with the aid of a couple of AA batteries -- great for if you're in a pinch. It also has a bag strap, so that you can hang it from the zipper of your bag or backpack. I will be absolutely be giving this a try the next time I go Pokémon hunting in the city!

One of my brothers also bought me a Lush gift box! It's hard to go wrong with Lush items for me, because I will use it no matter whether it is for the bath or the shower -- though I tend to bathe more in the wintertime, for my back. This pack with a tub of Reindeer and Robin Fun (whatever "fun" is), Santa's Belly shower jelly (which had unfortunately melted a little!), a bottle of Bubbly shower gel, and a bar of Baked Alaska soap. The soap especially smells amazing for this time of year -- light and citrus-y, it's perfect for the scalding Aussie summertime!

From my parents

As I opened up the box this was all packed in, I thought my parents had made a relatively large MAC order -- and that in itself would've been huge, because they typically don't like to buy me makeup. When I saw what was inside, I was so surprised that I couldn't breathe for coughing; I needed Ventolin! I was so, so lucky to receive the entire Kylie Cosmetics holiday collection -- I don't have anything from Kylie Cosmetics, so I was beyond thrilled!

There were three Christmas tree decoration items: a metal liquid lipstick (Dancer), and two glosses (Jolly and Naughty). There were also three crème shadow: Yellow Gold, Camo, and Golden Plum. I haven't tried Dancer or Jolly yet, but Naughty was a really beautiful pink-based red, which faded more into pink as time faded and the gloss wore off. The crème shadows were kind of light and somewhat moussey to the touch -- not super creamy or thick like other crème shadows I've stuck my finger in, and while they're not intensely pigmented to start, you can build them up.


There was a Kyliner kit in the shade Snow, described as a "crisp matte white". I haven't tried the gel liner or the pencil liner yet, but the formula for the latter in particular seems really nice and creamy. There were also two Lip Kits, called Merry and Vixen. I haven't tried either shade yet, but the Vixen lip liner reminds me a little of MAC Currant.

And then...

There were two holiday lip sets, one that contained six mini liquid lipsticks featuring both permanent and limited edition shades, and another, a four pack that had two full-sized liquid lipsticks and two full-sized lip glosses. The mini liquid lipstick set contains Moon (wasn't that a Halloween shade?), Ginger, Kristen, Angel (a Holiday shade), Love Bite, and Vixen (another Holiday shade); the four pack contains a full-size Angel, Blitzen, Cupid gloss, and Noël gloss -- all Holiday shades.

While I haven't yet tried any of the minis, I have worn everything from the four pack excepting Blitzen. Angel is a beautiful nude shade that looked great at work and wore really well throughout my shift, Cupid is a gorgeous pink gloss that really adds something special to the everyday look, and Noël, while looking super gold in the tube, sheers out quite nicely for those who don't want a colour that's "out there".


The Holiday Edition Kyshadow palette. I've tested out a few different shades from this so far, and I don't know if all of the Kylie palettes are like this, but... the quality is not great. I expect more from a much hyped brand that chooses to charge almost $50 US for an eyeshadow palette. The swatches might look alright, but Gingerbread -- that nice metallic gold you see -- was the only shade that swatched well on the first swipe. The two mattes in the top row, Sugar Cookie and Chestnut, swatch OK for matte crease shades, but the others were underwhelming.

Even with a primer underneath (at the moment I'm going through MAC Soft Taupe), the application is so-so. The shade Mittens, in particular, was kinda awful. The majority of these shades are definitely helped by the crème shadows, but I feel like it's kind of a cop out to need them when the products are just so expensive. I'm going to keep testing them to see if they work better with different primers, or if they apply better with natural instead of synthetic brushes, but... yeah.

This eyeshadow junkie is kinda disappointed.

The box also came with a super soft, snow white Kylie sack to pack all your goodies in, as well as a makeup purse with the signature "dripping lips" image. I forgot to take pictures of both!

Lastly, my parents gave me the NYX Liquid Suede Lip Vault -- this one, at least, I knew about, having snapped it up on sale for them. I know, I know, I'm a very considerate daughter.

NYX Liquid Suede Vault
NYX Liquid Suede Vault
This lip vault contains minis of every single shade from NYX's Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick line. As you can see, you've got plenty of safe, traditional shades mixed in with some crazy, crazy colours. From a dusty pink to blinding orange, bright blue to jewel-toned navy -- whatever colour you like, the line has it all!

I'll eventually give every shade a go, but there are a couple there that are either seasonal (that dark, vampy jewel-toned purple ain't no good for this bright, blinding Aussie summer) or just too alternative for me -- I can't see Little Denim Dress being used at all, and I absolutely despise Respect the Pink.

That's it from me for this year! I know I have a couple of other things coming -- one of my brothers bought me all the Sailor Moon POP Vinyls -- because both Sailor Moon and POP Vinyls are LIFE -- but at time of writing they have only just arrived, and I don't want to delay this post any more than it has been delayed already.

Let me know all about what you received for Christmas! Or, alternatively, let me know: what was the last thoughtful gift you received? I want to read all about it!

Until next year!

Friday 7 October 2016

Japan Haul Pt 2 | Stuff, Glorious Stuff!

Going to Japan, I had one thing and one thing only on my personal shopping list: makeup. Yes, makeup might mean dozens and dozens of items, but it really was the only thing I had any interest in purchasing for myself. I knew there were items from brands like Rimmel and L'Oréal that I wouldn't be able to get in Australia, and I figured that there were other brands waiting for me to discover them.

With makeup on the brain, I'd completely forgotten about Japan's ability to create something else that I have a deep, undying love for (besides tonkotsu ramen): stationery.

Yep, in today's post you're going to be treated to all of the different stationery that I bought for myself, despite not needing any of it. There's other stuff in this post too, like charms from temples and Disney themed jewellery -- but yeah, most of it's stationery.

Let's take a look!

Australian origami crane || I thought about buying this, but it was actually given to me as a gift by an old man when I bought something from his store in Koyasan. It was very sweet of him, and I couldn't not include it here.

Year of the Monkey charm || I bought this from Kaminarimon in Asakusa on the second day of my tour. I was born in the Year of the Monkey -- which 2016 also happens to be! -- so, y'know, I couldn't pass up the opportunity! I bought other Chinese Zodiac charms for my brothers too, and they really liked them.

Eeveelution container || I got this from the Pokémon Centre in Ikebukuro's Sunshine Mall. The first time I went, I passed it over -- how on earth could I justify 500 yen plus tax for an empty box? The thing is... I saw this picture on all kinds of posters around all sorts of stores. I even noticed a promotion for what looked like a loose powder compact type thing at a store called It's Demo, but they didn't have any left, so when I went back the Pokémon Centre a few days later...

It turned out to have biscuits in it, so it wasn't as much of a waste as I thought. XD

Kiki's Delivery Service hand towel || I'm actually not that into Studio Ghibli, but when buying a whole bunch of stuff for one of my brothers, my eyes kept coming back to the adorable little cat from Kiki's Delivery Service. I settled for the hand towel because it's practical and I felt that I might actually need it during my trip -- and the cat on it is sooo soft! I kinda don't wanna use it, so that it stays soft forever!

Sailor Moon Miniature Tablet || Swear to goodness, I almost lost my nut when I saw this! I'd seen these reviewed on YouTube but they were one of those things that I never actually thought I'd ever see in person. There were others from the set in the store, but this was the nicest one and I was exercising an odd sense of self-control -- buuut you're about to see why.

Hellooooooo, stationery! I bought the abovementioned Sailor Moon thing at It's Demo, and the reason why I went easy on buying things from that collection was because I went to town on the notebooks!

The little Post-Its that you see are actually from Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, not It's Demo in Ikebukuro, so they don't count in the 'going to town' sense of this haul, but aren't they just adorable?! Then there are the things that did come from It's Demo: the cute Eeveelutions, Stitch covered in kisses, and Pikachu with sunglasses!

My heart! It beats!

And how adorable is this Stitch notebook? I think this was the first one I actually picked up in the store. It was the gateway notebook -- I saw this notebook, touched its cover and then before I knew -- BAM! -- notebooks everywhere! Pikachu on the surfboard is also super adorable, chilling out there like she's got all the time in the world, and while Jasmine isn't 'my' Disney princess, I just thought that the design was so elegant that I couldn't help myself.

There were other Disney princesses there too, but alas, no Snow White. The whole watercolour design for Disney princesses seems to be really popular in Japan at the moment, and I really could've bought so much more than the store had.

I couldn't pass up on the hardcover books either! Pikachu chilling at the beach... Pikachu with a couple of Eeveelutions on a surfboard... I really like hardcover books for work particularly, because they're just that much more durable. I typically don't have to worry about them about them bending or getting out of shape or being crushed by whatever farm tools make their way into my handbag...

I'm joking about the farm tools.

The Sailor Moon notebook probably pushes my limit for cutesy, just a little bit. I got it from Hakuhinkan Toy Park in Ginza (that was a whole adventure in itself), and with my love for Sailor Moon, it ended up in my arms relatively quickly. It's no secret that I enjoy cute stuff, but there is a limit to how much I can take, so it wasn't an immediate given as soon as I saw it.

How freakin' adorable are these?! I saw these at the Pokémon Centre as well, and didn't get them the first time around because I had other stuff I wanted to buy -- but I couldn't resist the second time! I'm not gonna lie, I have absolutely 100% no idea as to what I'm going to do with these but I just don't care.

I will find a use for them. I will find a use for them all.

Yep, I got one of each Eeveelution.

No shame.

No regrets.

And how adorable is Pikachu clinging to the SkyTree Tower? This was a double pack, which I hadn't been too sure about until I actually opened it up, so it came with the folder of the little Starter Pokémon SkyTree Towers as well.

Then you've got Pikachu dressed up as Rayquaza -- I mean -- it's just -- how can your heart stand it?! There was loads of items as Pikachu dressed up as something or other, but for me this one just took the cake!

I bought the file on the left when I was in Koyasan, from a shop run by a little old man who gave me the Australian origami crane. There were four different folders, one for each season, but I held back and settled for just picking the one for winter.

Then, on the right, you see... a Sailor Moon Black Moon five-part folder. Is that a chorus singing hallelujah I hear? I just -- you know -- my heart. It's not often that you get goods with villains on it, and especially something that, to me, has a bit of a classier feel about it. Will I be rocking this when I get full-time work? Hell yeah.

I don't think I've been to a Disney store since that time I passed by one as a little girl, saw a Cruella de Vil plush and refused to let go of it. Going to the store in Ikebukuro was like heaven. Seeing the jewellery, there was no way I couldn't not get some of it, so I settled for several pieces that I thought were kind of understated -- just the way I like my fandom merch.

There's a Mickey Mouse ring, which I really like because the fact that it is Mickey isn't too obvious until you actually get a proper look at it; if you're glancing at it, it looks something more like a crown or an old-school castle wall. There's also a tiara ring, and for some reason I had in my head that it was Princess Aurora's tiara, but it really isn't, is it? I've been trying to wrack my brain to figure out who it belongs to -- someone, help me out!

What is indicative of Princess Aurora are the earrings -- really cute studs with her actual crown and a pink gem the colour of her official dress. The back of the earrings are nice and long too, so they're going to be less likely to fall out. That's not to say that I have fat ears, by the way, but I do have an amazing ability to lose earrings while wearing them. It's pretty much a gift.

Let me show you some close-ups!

Last, but certainly not least, there's something I bought that got me so excited I had to have a private fangirl moment when I got back to my accommodation in Ikebukuro.

Yeah, it's a mug. No, it's not just a mug.

I went to a café in Omotesando called LATTEST and I actually got to meet a girl who works there who's kinda famous. She was on a Japanese TV show on Netflix called Terrace House, a show that I've really gotten into, and I could hardly believe that I got to meet her. I was tossing up whether or not to buy a mug from the café as a memento, but someone (maybe my best friend? I can't quite remember. Probably my best friend.) told me to just go for it!

Not gonna lie, was absolutely surprised and 100% excited when I realised she'd written a message on the box.

Does that make me kinda lame? Maybe. It doesn't matter.

Either way, that wraps up the collection of wonderful, wonderful stuff that I got while I was overseas! I feel like I picked up so many adorable things, and even if they weren't exactly needed, at least I know that they'll get used in the future. (Note to self: don't buy yourself stationery for another seven years).

If you want to take another look at the makeup that I bought while I was there, you can go here and check it out.

Did anything here catch your eye? Do you have a stationery obsession too? Let me know!

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Lip Monthly | September 2016 (Weirdest. Stuff. Yet.)

It's been quite a while since my last Lip Monthly post -- the first half of 2016 was so insanely busy that blogging obviously slowed down, and the last couple of months have also been busy for me. Busy in the sense that I've needed a break from everything after finishing my Masters degree. I was still getting my Lip Monthly in the mail, but there was no way I had the motivation to blog about it.

If you're reading this post, and thinking, "Lip Monthly? Whaaaat?", I'll break it down: Lip Monthly is a monthly subscription service that sends three or four beauty products to your doorstep -- I've typically found this to be three lip products and one product from some other category. If you're a lipstick hoarder like myself (I've got at least two shoeboxes), this is a great way to get a monthly lipstick fix and try out a few brands you might not normally get, especially if you're outside the US.

This month's little bag was accompanied by a product that immediately caught my eye: the Model Co Lip Enhancer Illusion Lip Liner. With a nude beige "one shade suits all" colour, it's meant to emphasise the size of your lips, so that you can "create the perfect lip silhouette". I've tried it once and a I don't mind it, but until I play with it a big more, the jury is still out overall. This retails for $22 AU.

Opening up my Lip Monthly purse, my eyes were immediately drawn to the JCat Beauty Wonder Lip Paint, in the shade "Curious Oysters". Perhaps the Alice in Wonderland reference should've been a clue, because this shade is weird. It's a semi-transparent shimmery, white gloss -- or so it looks at this stage. I'm wondering if it's actually separated on the journey, because when I read words like "lip paint", something thick and full colour is what comes to mind first, kinda like the OCC Lip Tars. I looked around on the web, and there were a number of different shades available, and while I like a challenge, this shade is not wearable for me. This retails for $4.99 US (about $6.51 AU).

Up after that was a Starlooks Lip Crayon in the shade "Dubl Bubl" -- and the name was enough to send off alarm bells in my head. (Someone play that Anne-Marie song, quick!) It made me expect a bright bubblegum pink, which is a shade that just doesn't play well with me. What it ended up being was a light, slightly pastel lavender, which for me is perhaps slightly worse. It's a shame, because, looking online, all of the other shades are really, really nice! Unfortunately, this is another total miss for me, though I know there are loads of girls out there who would rock it. The lip crayon retails for $19 US (about $24.79 AU).

Finally is a pack of ncLA Petite Instant Nail Fashion nail wraps, and while I know that some people don't like nail products, I kinda don't mind them! I'm about 98% certain that the design is an exclusive collaboration with Lip Monthly, as the it matches that on the bag; the Lip Monthly logo has also been conveniently printed on the sheet of wraps. I might get around to wearing these eventually, and looking  on the ncLA site, they have a lot of cute designs! (Secret between you and me: there's a Pride and Prejudice and Zombies set, and you know that I need anything Jane Austen in my life now). Lip Monthly values this product at $11 US (about $14.35 AU), but all of the nail wraps from the Petite line are $9 US (about $11.74 AU), so... I'm gonna go with what's on the site.

Price: $12.95 US (~$16.89 AU)
Lip Monthly Bag Value: $52.99 US (~$65.04 AU)

While this month was kind of a fail for me in terms of shades, I've enjoyed Lip Monthly enough this year that I can easily overlook one dud month. I'm in two minds as to whether or not I'll keep the products I don't like -- I may hold onto the Lip Paint, because I do have a silver lipstick from the CoverGirl Star Wars collection... Who knows, perhaps I can make it work!

What did you think of the products in this bag? How would you use them? Let me know!

Monday 12 September 2016

Book Swap with Aoife from Pretty Purple Polka Dots!

I don't often talk about books on the blog, mainly because I love chattering on too much and my posts would be longer than my thesis. I haven't quite worked out the way in which I want to talk about the books I read or the TV shows I watch -- I'll get there, but I'm not there yet.

That being said, several months ago I was having a great chat with Aoife from Pretty Purple Polka Dots, an Irish book blogger who has no shortage of suggestions should you be looking for something to read. While I can't remember what our chat was about, it led to her asking if I wanted to participate in a book swap with her! And why wouldn't I? It's great to connect with others in the blogging community, and sharing something you love with someone else who you just know will love it too... There's nothing like that.

So we grabbed each other's details, found out about each other's interests and began digging to locate a book that we knew the other one would love.

What did I get Aoife? Well, you'll just need to pop over to her blog and have a look. No spoilers from these lips!

Before you do that, however, let's get stuck into what arrived in my mailbox!

An Irish Country Girl by Patrick Taylor || This book appears to be a prequel to other books by Patrick Taylor, about a woman named Kinky Kincaid (given Ireland, this is most probably not pronounced the way it's spelled), whose real name is Maureen O'Hanlon. It seems to be set in the earlier part of the twentieth-century, with supernatural elements that really intrigue me. It makes me wonder if it ties into Irish folklore -- and as someone who loves history, I'm excited to find out!

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín || I've definitely heard of the movie and the book on which it was based, and I recall there being a great deal of fuss being made, but as I tend to be very lazy when it comes to jumping on bandwagons (both literally and metaphorically), I never really looked into it. This one's about a girl named Eilis Lacey, who emigrates to North America to make a future for herself, only to have to return to Ireland later on. I'm not gonna lie, it's piqued my interest as well!

Aside from these titles (both of which sound really good), Aoife so very kindly sent me some other bits and pieces too! A bookmark featuring Irish writers -- always handy, as I tend to dog-ear my pages (sorry!); a block of Dairy Milk that has long since been demolished; a magnet with an Irish toast on it; a few candles, one of which I know to be a Yankee candle (hallelujah!) and all of which smell incredible; and a keyring.

But not just any keyring -- no, no, this keyring has my surname and my family crest!

Can someone please find me a gif to accurately describe my joy?

I didn't need to read my surname to know what it was when I saw it. While my particular strand of Barry DNA has Cornish origins instead of Irish, I've nevertheless always kind of unofficially adopted this crest as my own. I can't wait to attach it to all of my keys!

That just about sums up my absolutely awesome package from Aoife! Don't forget to check out her blog to see what I sent her -- I know I sure will be (partly because aside from the book I forgot what I sent her).

Have you read these books before? Did you watch the film Brooklyn when it came out? Let me know!

Monday 5 September 2016

Japan Haul Pt 1 | Makeup Goodies Everywhere!

If you're a makeup addict -- hell, I don't even think you need to be an addict -- then arguably one of the greatest priorities you'll have when going overseas is getting your paws on the goods that you just can't find at home. Whether it's different products from familiar brands or new items from new names, it's so easy to get excited and just want one of everything.

This happened to me.

In the name of Daenerys Targaryen, First of Her Name, this happened to me.

Look at this stuff. Isn't it neat? Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?
Don't get me wrong, it could've been a lot worse. There was a point towards the end of my trip where I was going to splash a whole lotta extra cash on brands I knew I hadn't seen before -- but instead I ended up deciding to go meet a friend for dinner.

A friend who ended up being an hour late.

Please, a moment of silence for the makeup not bought.

You want things of above? I've got twenty!
Still, I shouldn't really complain, right? I did end up creating a relatively decent haul whilst overseas, so let's take a look at the beauties!

But who cares? No big deal.
I want mooooore.

Rimmel London x Daichi Miura Chocolat Sweet Eyes Eyeshadow Palette - "#002 Almond Chocolat" and "#009 Rose Chocolat" || Look at these adorable little eyeshadow palettes! Look at them! I'd say that they're meant to be the Japanese drugstore answer to the chocolate bar craze that began a couple of years back courtesy of Too Faced. I believe that these are available in the regular packaging as well, but these two in particular were created in collaboration with Daichi Miura. Who is that? No idea. I know that these two palettes look very, very similar, but they are different -- trust me!

I had wanted to get the rest of the palettes in this range, but I bought these relatively early into my trip; by the time I went to a store and saw them again, they only had the original packaging, and I couldn't remember which ones I'd bought. I know, what a rookie error.

Rimmel London x Daichi Miura Marshmallow Look Lipstick - "#012 Very Red" || I had originally written this shade as "Berry Red" until I took swatch photos and remembered that 1) there was nothing remotely berry about the shade; and 2) 'very' could be written the same way as 'berry'. So here we are! This is a very clean, bright red, and I'm sure that I definitely do have shades just like it -- what I have never seen before is that heaven-sent packaging! Can you see it? It's similar to the eyeshadow palettes in terms of the drawings, but it has three girls whose outfits you can mix and match depending on the way you click the lid on!

No that's not drool at the corner of my mouth. Don't know what you're talking about.

Rimmel London x Daichi Miura Marshmallow Look Lipstick - "#015 Melty Red" || I didn't know why this was called Melty Red, as in the tube it looks more like a deep, kinda rusty brown. I can see the red tones when I engage it in a staring match (it always wins), but I'm interested in seeing how it translates on the lips. Will it look kinda 90s? Who knows!

Rimmel London Marshmallow Look Lipstick - "#21 Deep Plum" || I haven't mentioned this yet, but the whole idea behind the "Marshmallow Look" line is the idea of matte lip colour that gives your lips a soft, pillowy look -- it sounds pretty nice, right? Off the top of my head, this shade seems kinda comparable to MAC Rebel, but my eyes aren't known for being reliable so time (and side-by-side swatches) will tell.

Rimmel London Marshmallow Look Lipstick - "#23 Raspberry Rose" || This shade ended up swatching lighter than I thought it might, but I think I'm going to love wearing it! It's the kind of soft pink that I rarely get sick off, and I think it'll look as great during the winter as it will in summer. I think this may suit those with very fair skin as well, but I can't be 100% sure -- thanks to the Japanese sun, I returned to Australia looking a bit like a slow-roasted chicken, so my skin isn't as pale as it normally would be at this time of year.

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Creamy Lip - "#009 Vivid Pink" || How beautiful is this pink? It's a shade that I personally love to rock in the wintertime -- whoever said you should stick to nudes? -- and the bullet shape makes me wonder if this is Japan's rendition of The Only One lipstick. An awesome feature? There's a little mirror on the top of the cap! (Screeches everywhere.)

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Creamy Lip - "#014 Mauve Red" || When I first opened the cap upon coming home, I first thought that this looked almost worryingly similar to the Marshmallow Look "Melty Red" shade, but it really does swatch more rosey-red. I think it's a very pretty colour, and a good red for those who don't like something so in-your-face.

Left: Swatches of the Marshmallow Look lipsticks; Right: Swatches of the Lasting Finish Creamy Lip lipsticks.

L'Oréal Paris -- if it has a name, it has a place in my purse.
L'Oréal Paris Collection Star by Barbara - "Barbara's Pink / Rose" || Everyone who knows me knows that I'm a sucker for a product with a name attached to it, and when I found out that Japan had its own version of the Collection Exclusive... I practically needed a mop to wipe my drool! This is a sheer, milky pink with a very subtle microglitter that's hard to pick up on camera. Typically this type of pink isn't my style, but I think that's it's sheer enough for me to pull it off.

L'Oréal Paris Collection Star by Blake - "Blake's Pink / Lily" || This I definitely love! It's a beautiful blush-pink that doesn't get all in your face. It didn't have any glitter that I could see when swatching.

L'Oréal Paris Color Riche Extraordinaire - "#500 Molto Mauve" || This was an interesting purchase. I saw a stand at the store that had a dozen different shades that came with a Swarovski-element crystal bracelet, with each shade corresponding with a different month of the year. If I had all the money in the world, I'd definitely have bought one for each month (like a magpie, I love shiny things) but at the time I felt it was overkill, even for me, so I only bought the one for my birth month: June! June's gemstone is opal (I think -- sometimes I see moonstone, but I can't remember what the stand itself said), and the bracelet is meant to reflect that.

The lip colour itself is a beautiful shade that I might not have looked at too closely had it not been for the bracelet. It's a gorgeous reddish-mauve with flecks of gold microglitter -- I can honestly say that I don't have a shade like it in my collection!

Swatches: no regrets.
Sleek in name, sleek in nature.
Excel Sleek Glow Lip - "#GP05 Sakura Pink" || This slender little tube has a somewhat luxurious feel to its packaging and offers sheer colour for your lips. I only picked up two shades because most of them had names that were kind of a little scary -- names that contained the word "beige". Unless it's in a foundation, I run from the name "beige". This shade in particular is a sweet watermelon pink, and the product itself is so soft that they say you don't need to twist it higher than a couple of millimetres.

Excel Sleek Glow Lip - "#GP06 Pink Mirage" || There's a little more raspberry in this shade than to Sakura Pink, although when I first started swatching I was concerned that they were more identical than I'd thought. Just like Sakura Pink, Pink Mirage offers a very pretty, natural-looking blushing pink to your lips.

For all your sheer lip colour needs.

Don't be jelly, Linda.
Canmake Tokyo Your Lip Only Gloss - "#03 Clear and Vivid" || I'm wondering if perhaps the name of this line is the product of some typo that didn't get picked upon before it went into production. Who knows? I noticed straight out that the applicator was a pinky-purple, the kind of colour you get when you apply a clear gloss over a coloured lipstick directly with the applicator and thus never have clear gloss again. When I swatched it, it seemed to be nothing more than a clear gloss with a colourful applicator -- and I was wrong! You can see that it has a very light pink tint to it -- so, not exactly clear, but perhaps tinted just enough to enhance your natural lip colour.

Only testing will tell!

Canmake Tokyo Jelly Stick Gloss - "#05 Dark Raspberry" || At time of writing, this is the only product that I've tried, and I really like it! Like with the Excel products, you only need to twist it up the very slightest bit because of how soft the product is -- and my, oh my, is it soft! Imagine slathering butter onto your lips, but without the greasy feeling. That's what wearing this product is like.

I could probably swatch this forever.
Why buy regular edition packaging when you can get the cute limited edition one instead?
Maybelline Fashionista Mascara || I haven't seen this mascara at all in the western world, although I'm guessing from the general shape of the packaging that it might be Japan's version of the Illegal Length mascara. This particular one is either special or limited edition packaging -- I'm not 100% sure which -- in a collaboration with Little Twin Star; there was also a blue one for the waterproof formula.

Opera Sheer Lip Color - "#104 Pure Coral" || So here's the thing about this line: there some to be two sub-lines, the "basic type" and what seems to translate to me as the "good colour type". This particular shade belongs to the latter, and leads me to think that "good colour type" refers to more pigment. This really is a stronger peachy coral than I'm used to wearing -- honestly, I'm not used to coral at all -- but I've never been one to shy away from a challenge!

Opera Sheer Lip Color - "#01 Pure Red" || Clearly more sheer than Pure Coral, this really is meant to give nothing more than a sheer red tint to your lips. It'll be great for work, because I've shied away quite a bit from wearing lipsticks lately.

Not what I expected, for whatever reason, but who doesn't like a challenge?

Disney Lip Gloss - "Rapunzel" || This gloss is a sheer sparkly pink that doesn't really build up a whole lot of colour, no matter what the inside of the tube looks like. I think the entire line is pretty good for younger girls who are developing more of an interest in makeup -- but make no mistake, this shiz is for me -- and this shade in particular would be a good place to start.

Disney Lip Gloss - "Ariel" || This one is somewhat sparkly too, but a slightly more pigmented coral. It's not a bad idea for those who might want to try a more natural lip colour but are somewhat intimidated by the idea of a nude.

Disney Lip Gloss - "Minnie" || This watermelon pink has no glitter at all, and while not overly pigmented, it's still a stronger pink than Rapunzel. It's another safe shade for younger girls or those who want something natural and don't mind carrying around a something that demonstrates a blatant love for Disney.

The fairest of them all.

Daiso Japan Hello Kitty Oil Blotting Paper || Of course I went to Daiso in Japan! How could I not? There were all kinds of blotting paper available, from those that were plain and to the point, to those that looked they belonged in a more upmarket store. As someone who does find Hello Kitty quite cute, this was a must!

Daiso Japan Mickey Mouse Oil Blotting Paper || If there's one character that Japan loves, it's Mickey Mouse. He and Minnie seem to be everywhere you go, and while I wouldn't call myself a die-hard fan, this is cute yet discreet enough that it's right up my alley.

That's it for part one of all of the goodies I purchased from Japan! Stay tuned because part two will be posted very, very soon -- and if you like stationery, Pokémon and/or Disney jewellery, you're going to find this one a real treat.

But for now: what did you think of the makeup? Did anything I buy grab your eye? Have you yourself bought makeup in Japan? Let me know! Let's get chatting!